Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

January 9, 2014

OH GOOD GRIEF: 2014 is off to bitterly cold start for school sports

By Ed Greif
Sports editor

CROSSVILLE — The new year is off to an unpleasant start, as bitterly cold temperatures, snow and ice put a temporary shutdown of athletics in Cumberland County this week; however, there was good news this week, as the Lady Jets were tied for ninth place in the first AP Class AAA girls basketball poll, while the SMHS Panthers received votes in the AP Class AAA boys polls.

The CCHS at Clarkrange games on Tuesday night were postponed, with a tentative make-up date set for Feb. 1.That date could change. CCHS  played Monterey Thursday night at Burks Middle School and travels  to Rhea County tonight for a crucial District 6AAA game. SMHS hosts White County tonight.

Going into tonight's district play, the Lady Jets have a 2-0 record, followed by Rhea County (1-1), Warren County (1-1), White County (1-1), Cookeville (1-1) and SMHS (0-2).

The Lady Jets are ranked No. 3 in the coacht.com's top 10 behind Science HIll (20-0) and Heritage (18-1) and are the top scoring team in the state through 16 games at 75.9.

Science Hill is coached by former Cumberland Countian Darrell Barnwell.

Also, the Lady Jets won the Jon Loden Christmas Classic at Midway High School, while the Lady Panthers finished fifth. The Panthers won the Renasant Bank Classic, while the Jets were fourth in the Seahawk Classic in Hilton Head, SC.

It was a very nice holiday tournament season for CCHS and SMHS.

The Panthers are tied for the league lead at 2-0 with White County, followed by Cookeville (1-1), CCHS (1-1), Warren County (0-2) and Rhea County (0-2).

Friday's other District game is Warren County at Cookeville.

Coach Neil Capps' team is No. 4 in the state in coacht.com's top 10, while White County is No. 10. The Panthers have the seventh toughest schedule in the state.

Both the District 6AAA and Region 3AAA tournaments will be played at Cookeville High School, beginning Feb. 13-15, 17-18 with the district tourney. The top four boys and girls teams from District 5AAA — Bradley Central, Cleveland, Walker Valley, East Hamilton, Soddy-Daisy and Ooltewah — will join the top four teams from 6AAA at the regions.

The wrestling teams from both CCHS and SMHS will be competing in both dual and individual tournaments in February, also.

Bowling district tournaments are scheduled this month.

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The inclement weather also put a damper on elementary varsity games. The league officially ended Dec. 19, but schools had scheduled games for Monday and Tuesday, which were postponed or even canceled due to the Arctic blast and snow.

The elementary varsity tournament is scheduled Jan. 25, 27 and 30 at CCHS. All first-round games will be played Jan. 25, beginning at 8 a.m., but that time could change. The four semi-finals are Jan. 27 with the two championship games Jan. 30.

Pine View boys will not have a team in the varsity tournament this year.

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The Cumberland County High School cheerleaders are going to the national championship in Florida Feb. 8-9 and are raising money for the trip. If you would like to see the squad bring home a national championship and would like to make a donation, contact Melissa Kerley at 484-6253.

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The BCS is now history, after Florida State defeated Auburn in a very exciting game Monday night at the Rose Bowl Stadium, which is supposed to be one of the venues for the upcoming four-team playoff system.

Counting the BCS championship game, there were 35 bowl games. All of the bowls  could be used for an expanded playoff, if the right configuration could be developed. 15 bowls would be used in a 16-team playoff. Figure a way to incorporate the other nine, you've got it licked.

The FCS does it the right way. Take the top 24 teams in the country and give the top eight first-round byes.

If some of the smaller bowls were not in favor of joining the new playoff system, they ought to consider being involved with the FCS system. That would give those teams additional revenue for their programs. Divisions II and III also have playoff systems.

All three championship games were televised.

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The collegiate coaching carousel is under way.

Louisville's Charlie Strong replaces Mack Brown at Texas, while Vanderbilt's James Franklin keeps coming up for both collegiate and professional coaching jobs. Will Vandy come up with the money to keep their popular coach, who has taken the 'Dores to three-straight bowl games? Franklin and Vandy have been mum on the s

Bobby Petrino has been named as the  coach at Louisville, where he posted a 41-9 record from 2003-'06. He was also fired by Arkansas and posted an 8-4 mark at Western Kentucky this year.

It is hard to keep up with all of the coaches going from one school to another without a scorecard.

Will Brown resurface somewhere or will retire to his hometown Cookeville? He would be a good fit at Vandy, should Franklin bolt for Penn State or the pro ranks.

There are several professional head coaching vacancies, including the Tennessee Titans. who fired Mike Munchak. He was 22-26 in three seasons with the team and is being considered as a replacement for the Detroit Lions' head coaching position.

Munchak is also mentioned at Penn State.

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Spring is more than two months away, which means adult and youth baseball and softball, golf tournament, 5K runs and one-mle fun runs/walks.

Youth softball and baseball league sign-ups should be submitted as soon as the elementary varsity basketball tournament concludes Jan. 30. That information should include the league name and contact person(s) phone number(s).

With so many golf tournaments going on, it is imperative tournament organizers get their information into the Chronicle office at least a month ahead of time and include a contact telephone number and registration deadline information.

The same information should be provided for 5K and one mile fun run/walks.

All information may be either faxed to (931) 456-7683, e-mailed to sports@crossville-chronicle.com or dropped off at the Chronicle office.

(Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears periodically.)